- Religion and Philosophy
All of this and yet...Money $ Money $ Money...Thanx to all contributors
This is perhaps one of my most simplistic writings, I'm not doing much of it, I've pilfered almost everything, how could I not when what was on my heart and mind was so readily available and so clearly presented. The title of this one surely gives the premise of the writing, so without much further ado. (I'll summarize at the end.)
This taken from FB Friend Dennis Cote -
Adding that “hunger still afflicts entire populations,” he asked, “Where is real humanity? Where is brotherhood? Where is peace?
”Those words were spoken by Pope Paul VI commenting on Apollo 11. That with all our ingenuity, if all peoples worked together, we might be able to live together. Relying on governments to solve these issues is shirking our individual responsibility to be our brothers' keepers and working toward the common good.
This taken from FB Friend Woody Wood -
A noted psychologist who specializes in coaching people to deal with their financial difficulties says that as his affluent clients' fortunes have declined, his practice has thrived. In fact, the psychologist declares he is busier than he's been in 30 years. He says this is because wealthy people have never been more frightened: "They believe this recession is semi-permanent."
Many surveys have shown that money and the economy lead the list of stress factors for eight out of 10 people in the Western world ---and those who are the wealthiest are not exempt.
Author Richard Peterson tells about a client, "whose net worth was about $400 million and now it's about $200 million! You would think, by his behavior, that he is about to be put out on the streets in the junkyard of society. The man is upset because he can no longer afford his private jet. He is going through devastation because now he has to fly first-class (on commercial airlines instead)!"
Soothing the soul of the tragically rich. The prevailing motto of the 21st century marketplace seems to be: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of just a little bit more.”
Contrast that philosophy with the Biblically based mindset:"You are blessed when you are content with just who you are – no more, no less. That is the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that cannot be bought” (Matthew 5: 5, The Message).
~-A wealthy business owner from Madison Avenue in New York City was walking along the shore of a seaside community while on vacation. The CEO noticed a fisherman sitting idly by his boat, his skin tanned and weathered by the sun, wind and spray of the sea. It appeared he was not in any hurry to do anything. Curious about the fisherman’s lack of activity, the vacationing entrepreneur asked:
"Why aren't you out there catching fish?"
"Because I've caught enough fish for today," he replied.
"Why don't you catch more fish than you need?" the businessman asked him.
"What would I do with them?"
"You would earn more money and buy a better boat; then you could go deeper into the ocean and catch bigger fish and purchase nylon nets to get more money. In no time you would have a fleet of boats and be rich like I am."
"The fisherman thought for a moment before asking: "Then what would I do?"
"You could sit down and enjoy life!"
“What do you think I'm doing now?” the wise, old veteran replied. ~
Searching for more, more, and more. On fabled Madison Avenue and other major business centers around the world, the prevailing attitude seems to be: “More money – More things – More status!” It is a relentless, unending cycle that breeds greed and discontent – as well as ulcers and heart attacks.
Again we can compare that point of view with the perspective offered by the Apostle Paul when he wrote: "I have learned in whatever state I am, in this to be content"
Great stuff! I realize that not everyone reading this will have a Biblical view, and any of you who may know me, know that I'm a Capitalist through and through, all of that said, heres my take. I'm on record as saying that it shouldn't be the job of the Government to help everyone, it's not their job - period. The very freedoms that we enjoy as Americans can be our tradgedy if we are not careful, now over the years we have put in place programs that will help the less fortunate and like most things in the hand of our Government, it's become a disastorous beauracratic boondogle. At the same time, even though nearly every Religions own tenet's call for helping others, spanning that world wide (or even just across the nation) would be a logistical nightmare. Many Religious organizations do great jobs at helping within their communities through various Ministries etc, yet still many people go unhelped. Some level of personal resposibility often needs to be assumed on behalf of the downtrodden, and this seems to be acknowledged less and less.
So what is the answer? I personally have no clue, all I know is that in this era of so much, it's hard to imagine that people still go hungry in the good ole USA, it truly breaks my heart to accept that fact. Worldwide what are we to do when a dictator runs his country in such a way that he and his "staff" and cronies have so much, while the citizens of that nation are oppressed by famine and neglect, what causes this? Well, when you boil it down, no matter what, or where, it's GREED, always been there, always will be, it just means that the generous have to work harder. At the end of each day we need to ask ourselves, "have I done all that I could do today for the sake of others?" Whether your doing it out of Religious conviction or a personal conviction, you can only do what you can do.
Is It greed?
It does amaze me that more people don't have a giving spirit but instead one of greed, I think as we shirk farther away from a Spiritual base and foundation it gets worse - we've become so much more of a "me society". Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying everyone that professes a Faith is giving and not greedy, nor that people with no Faith are greedy and not giving. It just seems that as we get farther away from a grounded foundation as a nation that more and more people become grounded in self and the service of self.
I personally can't fathom having millions and being able to sleep at night knowing that people are going hungry, but, I'm sure if I really "dug in" I'd find that I could do more with what I do have. The story up above talking about the people whos 400million became 200million and how poorly they are dealing with it likely struck many of us as pathetic. But the reality is that there are people in this world, and surely even some in this country that would see the meagerest of us as "Rich" for having a car, a computer and a house with indoor plumbing, I'll not even get into tv's and other accessories. It's all relative to our surroundings, I'm left to believe that the only true answer to the problem is an individual one. If every person who has it on their heart to do something, gets over the defeatist feeling of not being able to make a difference solely, and just does something - that'd be millions of people getting active and doing "something" which at the end of the day would be huge.
God or god
OK, I wrote this as unbiased as I could, now I've got to add that out of my love of, and my desire to obediently please my God in Christ I'm compelled to do what I can in His name, not just for that sake, it's also out of a God given love for my fellow man. I think the problem nationally and internationally is that money has become the "god" to far to many, and unlike the God in Heaven whose Love and Word we share, not to many people are wanting to share the money god.
People, it's just money - it has no eternal value. I'm always amazed at athiests that have no family and hoard money like crazy (or Christians for that matter), what good is it going to do you when your dead? And, if your a Christian storing millions of dollars away, while people go hungry, I'd have to ask why? Does not God tell you He will provide us each day? And either belief knows, you can't take it with you, and yet I've heard of people wanting to be buried with their money, car or some other material item.
Summary & Closing
I'm truly not judging, I've been there, certain 'things" seemed SO special, but if your dead it's irrelevant. Heck, Gene Simmons of KISS is a marketing genius, have you heard about the KISS coffin? Man, they are beautiful, but isn't that a lot of money for your rotting remains to decompose in? I'm all for cremation, I realize that isn't for everyone, I just wonder how long we can sustain using up real estate for the dead, heck we need strip malls and mansions don't we?
God Bless each of you,
thanx for reading my rant.
ps - Only in America can you OWN a home and a car, and still be considered poor!